In the perfect follow-up to last week’s question, as suggested by C in DC:Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?
In college I had to read Sartre's Being and Nothingness for a class on existentialism and I found it the most incomprehensible, solipsistic drivel I had ever come across and threw the hefty volume across the room. By the time I was done trying to finish it, the book was split in two. Of course, I could not claim to have come across all that much in my vast 18-years of experience and Dickens's Bleak House is a case in point. I read that book that same year in college. I also hated it and never finished it. I have since read it and raved about it here, here, here, here and here, which is among the reasons that I would never go so far as to wish I could 'unread' something. I was a young person of strong opinions. I am now a somewhat more middle-aged person of strong opinions, but I don't find myself wishing to unread books. Just about the only experiences I would wish to un-have are things I regret having said or done to other people. And I guess there are a couple of plays I acted in that I wish I could unrehearse and unact! But unread? No. I don't waste my time reading books I hate. I simply put them down, knowing I can always try them again later if they are supposed to be worth it, and see if my taste or my patience has changed. Life is too short for bad books or bad wine. If you don't like the way it tastes, pour the sucker out or use it to marinate a London broil and open a better one!